BY LUIS GRONDA
Before celebrating her mother’s birthday, Chelsea Clinton visited the Rockaways last weekend to do work on areas affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The family’s non-profit organization, the Clinton Foundation, returned to the Queens peninsula to continue work the foundation did in the storm’s aftermath last year.
Aptly named the “Resilient House,” Chelsea broke ground on a home for a competition called “Designing Recovery,” which aims to build homes in coastal areas that are more resilient and environmentally friendly in the event another Sandy-like storm hits New York.
Lintia Lyons and her family will be the first Rockaway residents to move into the house when it is ready, which is expected to be this summer.
Lyons’ home was engulfed with six feet of flood water and the home has been unlivable since. She said she is elated to be moving back to her newly renovated home when it is ready later this year.
“We’re disappointed that it didn’t happen a little bit sooner, but we’re happy and looking forward to the new home,” she said.
Chelsea said they are excited to be doing this project in conjunction with the St. Bernard Project, another non-profit company that helped rebuild homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and they look forward to bringing new, sustainable homes to those living in storm-ravaged areas like the Rockaways.
Earlier on Saturday, Chelsea visited a park near PS 43 in the Rockaways to help clean an area the foundation worked on after the storm last year. Clinton, along with Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), pulled out two trees that did not fully grow in the park.
Susan Kilkenny, a volunteer for the foundation that returned after working in the area last year, said a lot of progress has been made in the area since last year and it looks significantly better overall.
“It’s just impressive how much reconstructed, everything looks brand new,” Kilkenny said.
The foundation had about 100 volunteers working at sites like the one in Far Rockaway and other coastal areas damaged by Sandy.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.